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Malta’s Waste-To-Energy Plant Approved By Planning Authority

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The Planning Authority has approved an outline development application for the construction of a waste-to-energy plant, at the environmental complex of Magħtab.

This would be Malta’s first plant, that will allow the island to reduce its dependence on landfilling as a final disposal solution.

“Today, approximately 30% of Malta’ s municipal solid waste is being landfilled without the benefit of any pretreatment to recover material or improve compaction,” the Planning Authority said in a press release. 

The plant will convert recyclable waste into energy, satisfying 4.5% of the nation’s energy demands. It is part of a holistic project which will include the development of a new recycling plant and an organic processing plant.

The project, which will cost an estimated €400 million, will be located in Magħtab nearby the current waste disposal site.

In November 2020, three bidders made it to the shortlist for the tender, which will be one of the largest ever dished out.

It is expected to cost up to €190 million to build and a further €200 million to run over two decades.

After a number of site selection exercises were carried out in around eight potential sites, a site was chosen on basis of the size of the area and its current use.

“The report concluded that sites in and around the Maghtab Environmental Complex were the preferred sites, particularly due to their proximity to additional waste management facilities that would be supplying feedstock to the incinerator, and therefore the consequent reduction in the need for further generation of traffic should the Waste to Energy facility be located elsewhere,” it said. 

An Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out and a number of operational mitigation measures have been identified and will need to be implemented.

Once operational, the plant will handle around 192,000 tonnes of nonhazardous wastes on an annual basis. 

The plant’s energy recovery will primarily be through the production of electricity most of which will be exported to the national grid.

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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